Stranger Things Poster
Stranger Things Poster. Image Credit: IMDb.com

On the Road to the Mall…

Screen Capture: Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers in the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt.”
Screen Capture: Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers in the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt.”

The Stranger Things season finale picks up the story with Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman) trying to pick up a radio signal on his walkie-talkie. Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) and Police Chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) are becoming increasingly concerned about the wellbeing of the children. While Murray is not certain that it’s their kids that are in the food court, Joyce is one hundred per cent certain Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) is at the food court with the rest of the gang.

Screen Capture: Taken from the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt.”
Screen Capture: Taken from the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt.”

Meanwhile, at the food court, something is growing in Eleven’s leg. There is a good chance you will remember what Eleven’s leg looked like in the previous episode.

Screen Capture: Taken from the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt.”
Screen Capture: Taken from the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt.”

Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton) is frantic to find a knife that they can use to cut the growth from Eleven’s leg. Jonathon cuts into Eleven’s leg but is unable to extract the growth. Eleven uses her powers to pull it from her leg and throw it across the food court. A foot stamps down on the creature. It’s Jim. Who else would it be? Jim, Joyce and Murray have finally arrived at the food court.

Setting the Plan in Motion…

Screen Capture: David Harbour as Jim Hopper in the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt.” In the background, playing Joyce Byers and Murray Bauman, respectively, are Winona Ryder and Brett Gelman.
Screen Capture: David Harbour as Jim Hopper in the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt.” In the background, playing Joyce Byers and Murray Bauman, respectively, are Winona Ryder and Brett Gelman.

Jim, Murray and Joyce set a plan in motion to raid the Russian base beneath the mall and use Dustin Henderson’s (Gaten Matarazzo) radio transmitter to keep in touch. While Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) drives Robin (Maya Hawke), Dustin and Erica Sinclair (Priah Ferguson) to Weather Top, the rest of the group attempt to take Eleven back to Murray’s hideout. Because of the Mindflayer, they are forced to retreat inside the mall.

Improvisation…

Screen Capture: David Harbour as Jim Hopper in “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt.”
Screen Capture: David Harbour as Jim Hopper in the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt.”

Dressed in Russian uniforms, Murray enters the air duct. Jim and Joyce arrive at the vault without incident. Because of electrical issues with the device that the Russians have been using to open a gateway to the Upside-Down, the scientists seem to be behaving erratically.

When Grigori (Andrey Ivchenko) arrives at the facility, the motorcyclist discovers the dead bodies Jim left in his wake.

Screen Capture: Gabriella Pizzolo and Gaten Matarazzo as Suzie and Dustin Henderson, respectively, in “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt.”
Screen Capture: Gabriella Pizzolo and Gaten Matarazzo as Suzie and Dustin Henderson, respectively, in the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt.”

Elsewhere, on Weather Top, Dustin makes a desperate radio call to Suzie (Gabriella Pizzolo) hoping that she will be listening. Dustin makes contact with Suzie. Subsequently, he gets the information Jim needs to open the vault.

Even though Dustin is clearly uncomfortable with the idea of singing with his friends all listening, he takes the plunge and goes for it with every fibre of his being. This is an adorable scene. It is that moment of levity before the storm.

Screen Capture: David Harbour as Jim Hopper in “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt.” In the background, playing Joyce Byers, is Winona Ryder.
Screen Capture: David Harbour as Jim Hopper in the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt.” In the background, playing Joyce Byers, is Winona Ryder.

With Suzie’s assistance, Jim and Joyce retrieve the keys from the vault. The moment Eleven begins to have trouble generating her powers, the Mindflayer drops through the mall’s glass ceiling onto the food court floor. While Will, Jonathon, Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) and Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin) are hidden behind the wrecked car, Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink), Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard) and Eleven are hiding close by. They are hidden behind a mall plant fixture immediately in front of the gap store entrance.

Despite their efforts, Max and Mike are not able to prevent Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery) from seizing Eleven and taking her to the Mindflayer.

Billy Saves Eleven…

Screen Capture: Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt.”
Screen Capture: Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt.”
Screen Capture: Taken from the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt.”
Screen Capture: Taken from the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt.” With his back to the camera, playing Billy Hargrove, is Dacre Montgomery.

Eleven helps Billy break out of the Mindflayer’s control. Because of how she helped him, Billy sacrifices himself to protect Eleven from the Mindflayer.

When Joyce closes the portal to the Upside-Down, the Mindflayer dies because it is cut off from the entity controlling it. When the gateway closed, everyone trapped inside the chamber disintegrated in the explosion.

Screen Capture: Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt.”
Screen Capture: Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt.”

The cavalry shows up after the battle. Outside the mall, in the aftermath of all that has occurred, Eleven sees in Joyce’s eyes Jim has died.

Three Months Later…

Three months after the events which transpired at Starcourt, Joyce, Will, Jonathon and Eleven prepare to leave Hawkins behind and begin new lives elsewhere. Despite it being three months, Eleven has still not been able to use her powers.

In a post-credit scene, set at the Russian base Kamchatka, a prisoner is fed to a captive Demogorgon.

Final Thoughts…

Screen Capture: David Harbour as Jim Hopper in “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt.”
Screen Capture: David Harbour as Jim Hopper in the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt.”

Even though Jim never spoke to either Eleven or Mike about their relationship, it’s touching there was a scene with the actor writing and reciting the ‘heart-to-heart’ letter.

From how the third season ended, it is likely we will see a fourth season. What are your thoughts? Please comment and let us know what you thought of the third season. What do you think of the series overall? Do you feel there should be a fourth season?